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Handcrafted commemorative coin medallion created for a US crew member on an illegal immigrant ship

Object | Accession Number: 2001.25.1

Small medal commissioned by Paul Kaye to memorialize the imprisonment of the crew and passengers of the illegal immigrant ship, Hatikvah, on May 18, 1947, after their capture at sea by the British on May 17 during a voyage to Palestine. It was carrying nearly 1500 Jewish refugees, mostly Holocaust survivors. The medal was made from a hand flattened Cyprian piaster coin by an artist, name unknown, that Paul met in the internment camp on Cyprus. It is etched with the names, Hatikvah and Cyprus, an image of the ship, and an image of the detention camp; the initials of Paul’s nephew, Joseph Rosenthal, are on the reverse. Paul was a 21 year old American recruited as a crew member for the Mossad L’Aliyah Bet which organized the illegal immigration of Jews into British controlled Palestine which had very strict immigration quotas. After being held on Cyprus and in a prison in Palestine, Paul escaped and continued his mission. Similar commemorative medallions made from coins were also created other refugee artists, such as Albert Dov Sigal, during their imprisonment in Cyprus.

commemoration:  1947 May 18
creation:  1947 May 18-1947 July 22
creation: British detention camp; Cyprus
Object Type
Jewish medals (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Joseph Rosenthal
Record last modified: 2023-09-01 08:52:33
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